July 15, 2003
Dear, dear Heavenly Father
You know all about last night at cell group. You know how I have felt “lost” for so long about leading worship. You know there have been a few times when it really seemed like Your Spirit was moving, and people were truly responding to You. But so often it has been dry – and I have been dry. You know what I have been through. You know my heart. No, I haven’t practiced enough.
Yes, I just wanted to pray so often, to just all of us get down on our knees and pour ourselves out to You. Lord, You know once or twice at the beginning I felt really led to lead out in prayer – real prayer, not just the little “list” and a few odds and ends – and oh God, those were good times, times of real worship, music or not. But oh dear God, there have been so many dry, dry times.
And Lord – it’s not just my imagination, because ___ felt it too. And Lord, there are so many hurts in our group, and we all put on such happy, happy faces and tell such lovely sweet stories, Lord… and after all this time we barely know each other, and we don’t bear one anothers burdens and we don’t really care because we… I don’t know… are we scared to open up? Confront our real selves? Let You really get in there and turn our lives up-side-down? I see such pain in pretty near all the people there, but we’re all putting on happy “smiley” Christian faces and acting all cute and brotherly (sort of) so that (maybe??) non-believers will be attracted to You. We sure aren’t airing our dirty laundry, Lord. Oh yeah, in superficial little ways – “hints” you know…
God, Lord Jesus, I’m rambling again. Wasting time. Skirting the issue. God, Lord, dear God, I want to know You. I want to serve You. I want to face reality and get right down in the muck and filth and serve – rescue people from the mire and hold their hand, pull them up, put them on solid ground, put their hands in Your hands, point their eyes to Your eyes, encourage them, exhort them to drop their burdens at the cross, to touch the prints of the nails, to thrust their hands in Your sides, to get it!!!! To cry out with Thomas, “My Lord and My God!!!”
Oh dear God, I want to be there myself! And I am there, often – but almost always alone (humanly) (Not always alone – thank You, dear God, for ___! – and ___ too, though dear God, she needs comfort and hope too. She isn’t as brave as she thinks. And boy oh boy, neither is ___, despite his protests…). God, You created Your church to be a body. And this body has a lot of wonderful parts. But dear God, those parts are not in unity!
Lord, satan is fighting! He’s joyful! (well, of course not Spirit-joyful, but at least mighty gleeful…) at what’s going down. He’s glad those life groups are dying. Lord, You’ve given Abundant Life a vision. But oh dear God, Your Body is fractured. I don’t know why dear God, but it is.
One thing I know – we need to pray. Yes, Lord, the music minister needs a closet (oh, I mean office!) but Lord, we all need a place of prayer, a 24 hour tower of power! A get down on your knees and stay there till the fire comes down place!!! An “upper room” where we wait before You for the Pentecost, the fire, Your Power. Your Spirit! Oh dear God, help us to set aside our little programs, our outlines, our liturgy sheets, and bow before You. Be our God, dear Lord, be our Master, be our Life! our life-line!
Lord God, I don’t know how all that happened last night. But dear God, it was You for sure! You were breaking open, busting down our walls, our careful facades of Christian niceness and neatness and exposing our raw edges. Letting us see we need each other – and oh God, we need You! Together! Not alone!
Lord, it was good that our worship time – indeed the whole meeting, yes, but the “worship” especially was so flawed (the worst we’ve ever had) and that the Abundant Life Pastor was there to see it… and even to contribute to it in his own way (wow! Even ___ feels intimidated by him…). And it’s good what happened last night, the discussions about love being doing, and the stuff I said about us needing to love each other more than just getting together on Monday nights, and ___ saying she needs someone to phone and say they care. And the group leader bringing that worship video without letting me know, and so I came with my guitar, prepared to lead worship as usual and wasn't even called upon… because if he had called I would have probably just sighed a big sigh of relief (or not even bothered going) and that would have been the end of that and we would have just carried on… like who cares???
Oh dear God, we need to get together on our knees… we need Your Spirit… not just our cell group, but all the cell groups, all the church.
We need You!!!
I wonder what I’m supposed to see our life group leader about tomorrow? I’m over my emotional outburst (for now at least). I keep thinking I really know God now (well, not a totally developed, matured knowing, but at least a growing relationship) then some thing like last night at the cell group happens and I fall all apart all over again. Does that mean I’m not in relationship? Not trusting? …
I was thinking today, wondering what it is that God wants me to do, ministry-wise, and it came to me (I thought – I don’t know if it came form God… I’m pretty sure it’s not from the enemy…) anyway, I thought maybe the Lord really doesn’t expect much of anything more of me right now than just my family, that’s where He’s put me, it’s a big enough ministry, and I shouldn’t be “looking” for something… um… more “fulfilling” perhaps? Ack! Is that my motive? Am I looking for personal perks again? God, please help me to want only Your glory!!
I really realized when talking to ___ last night that I’m falling out of the “moment by moment” principle and trying to come up with big plans again… plans for God, it’s true (at least that’s what I tell myself…??) … but yes, worrying, getting hurt when my “efforts” (aha!) fail… even this whole thing about feeling intimidated.
Went with ___ for pizza and coffee! Wow!